I dragged out the dirty laundry

that our relationship did make

and I set them in the washer

to soak in soap today.

The grumble and the gurgle,

the whirl and sop and shake –

I sat with crossed arms waiting

for the last of washer’s quake.

Once the red light vanished

the lock clacked its release,

I shoved the laundry in the dryer

to smooth out every crease.

I watched it toss and tumble,

fighting fists of socks and bras

waited for my mind to settle

kept wishing for what once was.

Every little moment,

every feeling that wasn’t so:

streaks and smears and stains

on each article of clothes.

But once the cycle’s over

and everything is clean —

we’ve got to put our clothes back on

so that they’re lived in once again.

The stains may only soften

and streaks momentary gone;

wrinkles may deeply settle

and we’ll still get spilled upon.

So I uncross my rigid arms

let the pile grow upon the floor –

I want to make a mess with you

and rid this awful chore.


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